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Overdosing on any foods is harmful indeed, but the key to enjoying your favourite foods, including Maggi, is moderation!
Don’t eat this and don’t eat that! This is healthy and that isn’t! Haven’t we as children heard that umpteen times? Continuing with the same concoction of fear and lack of adequate nutritional and dietary facts, we pass it on to our children as well.
For that matter, there is hardly a lack of dietary advice today but most of us do not have clarity on the key nutrients essential for our growth and often ignore the required ones in our diet. Contrary to common perception, no single food item is healthy or unhealthy. Yet, in that bid to monitor how much we eat and control our weight, the single word that catches our attention is ‘fat’.
Many of us wish to lose that excess fat in our body but if we closely observe our daily meals and check the fat content of each food, to our surprise we will still find many food items loaded with fat, that we are hardly aware of.
Although ‘fat’ in the diet vocabulary may sound alarming, how many of us know that it is an equally significant part of our diet required to be taken in adequate proportions as recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)? Therefore, a balanced diet includes the nutrients required by our body in the right proportions, including fat. We need this balance in order to remain healthy along with an active lifestyle, the importance of which cannot be overstated.
In compliance with the recommendation on Dietary Guidelines for Indians, the total fat in the diet should provide somewhere between 20 to 30% of the total calories needed in a day. In that context, while we should indeed restrict our children from overdosing on fatty foods, fat does not have an adverse effect if taken in moderation. A check on the nutritional facts of various foods is therefore important before labeling them as unhealthy.
With that in mind, Maggi noodles is one name that comes to mind instantly as Maggi and childhood memories go together! Maggi has been an integral part of our growing up and still remains a favourite, quick-and-easy snack at any time of the day. Be it a picnic, an expedition, a trek or a trip to the hills or elsewhere, Maggi is probably the most sought after food to satisfy those hunger pangs and often – the only thing available at such places. Everyone has a favourite story of finding oneself at a remote destination with only a little shack serving up hot Maggi noodles!
Here is a closer look at some of the facts that go into the making of a pack of Maggi noodles.
Maggi’s composition strikes the balance between protein, carbohydrate and fat well, on the lines of the recommendations made by ICMR. Since the total fat intake in our diet can go up to 50g per day (for an adult), depending on the amount of physical activity in a day, the fat content per serve (per pack) in various Maggi noodles at 11-13g is within the recommended proportions. What is important of course is to include such treats in a balanced measure.
(And let’s not forget that commonly made food items like a vegetable cheese sandwich, an oil-drenched dosa, or an aloo parantha for that matter can carry high levels of fat – so how healthy or unhealthy a good item also depends on how we cook it.)
Interestingly, most of us are not aware of the fact that for the purpose of longevity and effective cooking, a Maggi Noodles cake goes through a five step cooking process before they are packed. It involves steaming at the primary stage, and then a quick frying of less than two minutes, which reduces the moisture in the noodles. This vital process helps to cook the noodles quickly in boiling water in just 2 minutes and ensures that it remains stable for several months before reaching consumers.
With numerous stories and sentiments attached to it, here’s how I turn my favorite Masala Maggi into an enhanced delicacy with the goodness of veggies and a dash of chicken and egg, while enjoying every bit of it.
Boil the Maggi separately without the masala. Sauté diced onion, diced all-colour bell peppers, broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms and whole red peppers in a pan along with some boiled and shredded chicken.
Cook for 5 to 7 minutes and when done, add a pinch of salt, black pepper and the Maggi masala. Stir well and add boiled Maggi noodles.
Finally, break two eggs on top and cover the pan with a lid. After the eggs yolks are done, sprinkle some finely chopped parsley.
Enjoy your favorite Maggi – my style!